July 2, 2014 3:44 pm

Fate of Bailey Bridge decided; arbitrator sides with Coquitlam proposal

WATCH (above): Coquitlam mayor Richard Stewart speaks about the dispute over Bailey Bridge with the City of New Westminster.

The decade-long dispute between New Westminster and Coquitlam, over the tiny one-lane Braid Street Bailey bridge, is finally over.

The two communities were involved in a binding arbitration process and today, the provincial arbitrator decided the City of Coquitlam’s proposal for a two-lane bridge was the best replacement solution.

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READ MORE: Coquitlam’s mayor raising concerns about aging Bailey Bridge

The City of New Westminster was against the widening of the bridge to accommodate more traffic, saying their roads would not be able to handle the additional volume.

In March 2014, the existing connector was closed after engineers found structural cracks in the bridge.

Provincial arbitration began in March 2014 after the two municipalities were unable to reach an agreement on the inter-municipal road, which connects United Boulevard in Coquitlam to Braid Street in New Westminster.

“We are extremely happy with the arbitrator’s ruling today,” said Mayor Richard Stewart, City of Coquitlam.

“We have long held that this crossing, while seemingly small, is an important one for our residents – especially as it helps alleviate congestion on the Brunette overpass and, in turn, increases access to Royal Columbian Hospital, Coquitlam’s primary regional hospital. We look forward to seeing this work finally move forward.”

The two cities will now begin the process of implementing the arbitrator’s decision.

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